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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordy Wednesday!

Just after their first birthday, we started to notice the babies attempting to say actual words.  I think they really benefitted from having so many people here, and so many people talking to them, holding them, and engaging them in play.  It started one morning when I walked in to the babies' nursery and Chloe was standing up in her crib and greeted me with, "Hey!".  She's been able to say "Mama" for quite a while, but now she can say some variation of: Hi/Hey, Bye Bye, Uh Oh, Mama, and Duck.  Brady can say Mama and Duck that I know of.

There is a funny story behind their ability to say Duck.  Last Saturday night our good friends Andy and Kari brought us dinner and came to hang out with the babies for a little while.  They had to miss the birthday party because of work, so they were very sweet to bring over some birthday presents for the babies.  They bought them several awesome books.  We decided it would be fun to read a few of their new books from Andy and Kari before they went to bed that night.  Two of the books we read featured ducks: Little Quack Counts and Little Quack's ABCs.  Like we usually do, we pointed to the animals in the book and named them for the babies, saying "Duck" a lot since there was a duck on almost every page.  By the end of the two books, both babies were saying "Duck" "Duck" "Duck".  We were all blown away!  They still say "duck" all the time, and in fact, it is the easiest of all the words they say to understand.

Here is a video of Chloe saying "Duck":

Here she is attempting to say "Bye Bye":

Interacting with them is even more fun now that they are learning new words and we can have "discussions". I will try to catch Brady on video next time!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Finger Painting Project Revisited

A couple of weeks ago the babies and I did a finger painting project as a one year old keepsake.  At the time, I mentioned I might frame them and keep them in the nursery.  I thought about it for a while and decided I didn't want to frame them.  The actual size of the finger paint paper was very large (12 X 16, I think?) which would have required an even larger frame and monopolized a lot of wall space in the nursery.  

So I thought of an alternative.  We've used a company called Canvas 4 Life before to print canvas pictures of the babies' newborn photos and also to print some tornado pictures Chad keeps in his office at work.  I've found they are really reasonably priced when it comes to printing pictures on canvas compared to other options.  They also look great and eliminate the need for a frame.  I wondered if I could use the high resolution photos of the kids' artwork and have that printed on a canvas.  It turns out that I could and I did, and they look great!  

The pictures below are actually in the living room.  Our intention was to display them in the living room temporarily while all of our family was in town for the birthday party and then move them to the nursery.  I hate to put another hole in the wall though, so I think if/when we ever move to a new house I will put them in either the nursery or a playroom.  The flash in these pictures makes the colors seem a little brighter, but I think you get a better sense of how they actually look in the close up pictures.  

Considering it is a picture of a picture on a canvas, I was very pleased with how they turned out.  It looks like the kids actually just did their artwork on the canvas, but there is no dried paint that will fade over time, etc.  The original finger paintings are proudly taped to the refrigerator for now, but I believe I will eventually fold them and put them in their baby books.

I have several other upcoming ideas/projects I want to share on the blog in the next week or so, so stay tuned!  Have a great day!


Monday, February 27, 2012

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With...

A single step!  I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Brady took his first steps on Saturday afternoon, February 25th, 2012.  Exactly one week after his First birthday.

Saturday afternoon we were all relaxing and playing around the house after Birdies class and after going out to breakfast with Nana and Doodah at IHOP.  Brady was by my feet and I was sitting on the couch.  Chad was sitting on the floor across from us a few feet away.  Before we knew what was happening, Brady was taking a few steps towards Chad and then tumbled into his arms.  We were shocked and thrilled!  We encouraged him to go the other way from Chad back to me.  He made about 3 or 4 trips between us, each trip taking about 2 to 3 steps each.

We tried to practice again with him last night, and he did take one step or maybe two, but not to the extent of Saturday.  We are not pushing it, we'll let him decide his own pace.

I should also mention that Chloe is making some progress on the walking front as well.  She has been walking while holding on to just one of our hands pretty well and gets steadier and steadier.  She likes to make laps with us around the living room.  On Saturday morning she walked out of Birdies class while just holding one of Chad's hands.  I believe she is physically ready to walk, she is very sturdy, but she isn't quite ready to take the mental plunge yet since as soon as we try to let go of both hands she squats and sits back down on the ground and crawls.

We are so proud of both of our babies.  It is hard to believe soon they will be walking.  Yesterday we cleaned out our pantry of all of our leftover "baby food" and other baby feeding supplies to give to our friends with twin newborn boys.  Last night we grilled steak for dinner, and the babies had steak, broccoli with cheese sauce, raspberries, milk, tater tots, and applesauce as their dinner.  Of course, they mostly favored the tater tots and applesauce, but still, it amazed me that they are grown up enough to eat regular food just like us!

Happy Monday to everyone!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Random Friday Photos

Happy Friday everyone!  We are getting adjusted back to "normal" life after our almost week long birthday celebrations.  Boy do I miss having a lot of people around to entertain the babies!  I know the babies miss everyone too. Today I just thought I would share a few random photos we've collected this past week.

Here is Brady in his dinosaur jammies.  They are just too cute, I can't stand it!  He loves to look under his high chair and play like he is "fixing it".

Chloe in the bath.  I just loved her little face.

The rest of these were taken yesterday.  Yesterday was New Shoes Day.  I bought the babies their first "practical" or everyday shoes.  They have had other shoes for special occasions, like Christmas and their Birthday, but these are shoes I hope they will wear when they start walking.  They are Pediped Grip 'N Go shoes and I love them.  Poor Brady gets the normal looking brown ones and of course Chloe's are glittery pink ones.  We tried them on yesterday and they were playing in the kitchen with them on so they can get used to them.

"Why yes I do have pink glitter shoes."

Brady gets brown regular shoes.  I still think they are quite handsome looking.

Having a conference in the kitchen about the new shoe situation.

Time to play and get into things we shouldn't!

Have a great day everyone!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Few of Our Favorite Things

The babies were so blessed to receive so many amazing gifts for their Birthday from a lot of our friends and family.  Since they have so many toys already, we told everyone it was not necessary to get the babies a birthday gift, but if they felt they wanted to get them something, we would love some new books to read.  Boy were the babies showered with books!  I think they won't need another book until their next birthday! We have enjoyed reading a new book every night since their birthday!  The babies are loving all the new stories, and so are we!

There were a few non-book gifts I wanted to showcase on the blog.  We are thankful for all the presents the babies received, so thank you to everyone!  Thank you cards will be coming soon!  :-)

Meepie and Pap (Kathy and Ronnie) gave the babies these beautiful rockers:

We keep them upstairs in their nursery.  The babies are going to have so much fun with these!

I already posted some pictures of the rockers Grandpa Don handmade, but with the babies sitting in them you couldn't see some of the details.  Chloe's rocker has the Disney princesses on it and Brady's has the monsters from Monster's Inc.  We just love them!

This next gift was a present from me and Chad to the babies.  We decided to do one big present for the both of them instead of a bunch of little things.  We bought the babies a Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Learning Home.  It is a wonderful toy with so many objects to engage the babies and it teaches so many different things.  Here is a picture of Chloe playing after her birthday party (she was enjoying a major sugar high).

The next present is from Chad's coworker Monica, who is a big Texans fan.  She got the babies a Toro the bull (Texans mascot) pillow pal!  The babies love it and have had the best time cuddling and tackling it!  After seeing how much fun they were having with Toro, Chad had to buy them an OU Sooners pillow pal too!  I am not sure if the OU mascot pillow pal is supposed to be Boomer or Sooner.

Aren't they too cute?!?

Well that is all for tonight.  Have a great day tomorrow everyone!


Monday, February 20, 2012

One Year Doctor Appointment & Stats

This morning the babies had their one year doctor's appointment.  To say it was eventful would be an understatement.  Poor Brady was in a terrible mood from the minute we were in the exam room.  He fussed and wouldn't let our doctor examine him on the actual table, instead I had to hold him.  Chloe was her usual cheerful and curious self, and tried to lick our doctor's stethoscope.  While I was describing some of the things the babies could do to our doctor, Chloe willfully demonstrated a few of her "tricks" for her amusement.

The worst part of course was the shots.  Each baby had 4 shots, 2 in each leg, and then they had to have their finger pricked to test for iron in their blood.  The finger prick part was awful, since not only do they prick their finger, but then they have to squeeze it in order to get enough blood out and it seems like it takes an eternity when you have crying babies.

Another problem was that I always dress the babies up for their well check appointments.  Now that I think about it, it seems crazy especially since they spend 95% of the appointment stripped down to just a diaper anyhow.  You can imagine the situation we had on our hands when we had two screaming babies and we are trying to fiddle with buttons on collared dress shirts and dresses, etc.  Maybe next time we will skip dressing up.

Here is a picture and a few facts and stats about each child:

Chloe Renee 

Height: 31 inches
Weight: 19 pounds

At one year old, Chloe is such a sweet, beautiful, and smart little girl.  She is quick to mimic almost anything you do or say.  If you ask her to say "Mama" she will say it.  She can also do high five, clap, and "Touchdown!".  If you ask her "how do you patty cake?" she will clap her hands.  She knows how to work every toy that we have and how to press every button to make a sound.  She loves to go to class at the Little Gym, and especially loves to do flips and hang from the bars.  She is an excellent sleeper just like her brother, sleeping through the night and taking two naps a day.  She likes to eat but she does not eat as much as her brother.  She is crawling, pulling up, cruising, and walking with her dinosaur walker.  She can stand on her own for a few seconds but she hasn't taken a step yet.  Lately she isn't a fan of being confined in her car seat or stroller, she prefers to be out in the open so she can see everything and everyone.  Overall Chloe is almost always happy and loves to discover and learn new things and meet new people.  

Brady Matthew

Height: 31 inches
Weight: 20 pounds, 3 ounces

At one year old, Brady has really come out of his shell in the last few months.  He is starting to babble a lot and has learned how to clap.  He still does not enjoy Birdies class at the Little Gym, but we are hoping he will warm up to it soon.  He needs a little time to warm up to new people, but once he accepts you he is very loving and sweet.  He loves to cuddle, especially when he is tired and he will rest his head on your shoulder.  He loves balls, trucks, and anything that moves.  He loves to play with Sadie and often tries to tackle and hug her.  He recently learned to clap and enjoys clapping with his sister.  He loves books and being read to.  He is an amazing eater and will eat anything you put on his plate.  He devoured his cake at his birthday.  I also recently gave him a bite of a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie and he was obsessed with trying to get me to give him more bites.  I think he might have a little bit of a sweet tooth.  He does not mind being strapped in to his stroller or his carseat.  Overall Brady is a very busy and sweet boy.  

I want to just put down a few things about both babies in general so I can remember them.  We have officially converted over to just whole milk and the babies seem to like it now and drink it readily (thank goodness!).  We are also down to one bottle a day first thing in the morning, and sippy cups the rest of the time.  I believe shortly we will also phase out the morning bottle as well.  Both babies love getting a bath and play happily while being washed.  Both babies have 8 teeth a piece, 4 top teeth and 4 bottom teeth.  In terms of sleeping they go to bed at 8:30 pm and wake up around 7:30 am.  They still take 2 naps a day, usually at 9 am and at 1 pm.  In terms of eating, they are eating all solid table food now.  They eat meats, fruits, vegetables, pasta, yogurt, and any regular foods.  When we go out to eat now I can just order their food off the kids menu.  It actually works great for us since we split one kids' meal between the two babies and it is usually just the right amount of food!  We pour cold milk in their sippy cups before we leave the house, and by the time we're ready to eat at a restaurant it is room temperature.  Both babies are crawling, pulling up, cruising, walking with a walker, but neither is walking yet.  We are looking forward to those next steps, literally!  

Whew!  Congrats to you if you made it this far!  


Sunday, February 19, 2012

One Year Outfits and Grandpa Don's Handmade Rockers

Grandpa Don has a tradition of making each one of his grandchildren a piece of furniture as a keepsake.  For the babies' First Birthday, he decided to make each baby their own rocker.  After looking over the pictures from the party, I realized there weren't too many where you could see their full birthday outfits very well.  I had an idea to show off their new rockers and their birthday outfits at the same time.  So this morning we put them back in their birthday outfits and took some pictures in their handmade rockers.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

Thanks Grandpa Don for our awesome rockers!  


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Brady and Chloe's First Birthday Party Spectacular!

Hello everyone!  We are all exhausted from today's festivities, but I wanted to share some pictures of the babies' First Birthday Party.  We had so much fun, it was such a special day and we are so glad we got to share it with so many friends and family members!  I don't have enough energy to go into a lot of details right now, but here are some pictures until I can do a proper post.  

Decorations/Party Set Up...



Some of our guests...

First tastes of birthday cake!  (There are more pictures of Brady with the cake than Chloe because he was just hilariously obsessed with it and we couldn't help ourselves!)  For the record, Chloe also greatly enjoyed her cake, it was just a LOT less messy!

I hope you enjoyed these!  It was an amazing day that we will never forget.  Must say bye for now though, and get some much needed sleep!

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